Disclaimer: Magneto, Xavier, and all related characters belong to Marvel and are being used without their permission. Eithne, Rhiannon, and all related characters belong to me. I am not making any profit from this, so it won't do you any good to sue me.
Author's Note: Still wandering around in my own little world. I thought that I might play around with some relationships; some that would normally be set in stone. But hey, it's my little world; and I dare to be different. At any rate, I was a little under the weather when I started writing this; so blame the fever. After the fever passed, the story remained; and I liked it. So here it is.
Archive? If you like it just ask. I can be very nice when I want to be; and I usually want to be when people like my stuff. :)
Feedback, as always, is welcomed and hoarded at firstname.lastname@example.org. And I even answer it sometimes! :)
Lastly, I have to give credit to Michele for planting that little seed of evil thought in my mind way back when I was working on "Tangled Skein". Without your insight into the dark past of the Erik/Chuck relationship; this little fic may never have come to pass. Thanks cuzin'!
What is it, old friend, that you have come here to find? Was Oberon not forthcoming enough for you? Yes, I know that you went to him. I also know why you didn't come to me first. We have not been.... close these past years. But we were close once, were we not. Like brothers? Yes, and more than that. Do you long for those days Charles; for our youth? Yes, I suppose, at times, I do.
I long for the innocence of it; the ease of our relationship. There are times when I look back on those days with fondness. Not often however; for there is pain in those memories. The pain of innocence lost; of friendships torn asunder. But that is all the past, this is now. And here we are again.
Ah, so you have come seeking the truth; the truth that you sought to find in Shalidar. The truth about the time that we shared; the truth about how she died. Very well. I suppose that you deserve the truth. After all, her life affected yours in very powerful ways, did it not?
You want to know why I chose to take her away, why we traveled the world; alone? I sensed, from the moment that I met her, that my time with her would be fleeting. There were times when she looked at me, a certain tilt of her head; and I could see the truth. I knew, somewhere deep inside, that she was not long for this world. And yes, I believe that deep inside, I knew the truth about who and what she was. Perhaps it was the child inside of me; the little boy who had once believed in fairy tales. Perhaps it was he who saw her for what she truly was. But the man refused to believe, and the truth went unspoken. And yes, I often think on that; and the part I played in her death.
I took her away so that we could share whatever time we had; share it in peace. Without the distractions of my life; without the distractions of you. Yes you, Charles. I could not bear the pain I saw in your eyes, the betrayal. And a darker emotion as well. I saw the hate in your eyes when you looked at her. What you and I had shared was dying; and you blamed her for that. I became afraid of the anger I saw in your eyes; afraid of what it may have led you to do. I suppose, that on some levels, I did it to protect you. Yes, protect you, from yourself. I saw greatness in you Charles; and I didn't want your hatred to be the death of that.
So we had gone away; traveled the world. She had such an innocence; everything held beauty in her eyes. And through her, I was able to see the beauty and grace in the world around me. For an all too fleeting time, I was able to forget the horror that this world can hold; and saw only the joy. I often thought of you; of the good that you were doing. There were times when I sat down, wrote long letters to you. I never mailed any of them. I did not want to intrude on your life; remind you of what we had shared. And I knew that my happiness would have been like a poisoned dagger to your heart. I never forgot you, despite what you believed.
What? No, I never told her that. I kept the truth from her, the truth about what I was. I did it partly to protect her; partly out of fear that she would turn from me. In hindsight; it was the lie that lead to her downfall; and mine. If I had told her the truth, she might have stayed; we might have found happiness. Instead, she felt the need to run; when she discovered that she carried my child. She was afraid to tell me the truth about who she was; afraid that I would never understand. And yes, that too claws at my soul.
She had returned to Shalidar, disappeared without a trace; like dust on the wind. She had left me with nothing; other than the emerald pendant that had been my engagement gift to her. Yes, I remember clearly that letter. The only one I had chosen to send you. I could not contain my happiness; and I had wanted to share it with you. You were the most important person in my life, aside from Rhiannon; and I wanted to share my joy with you. Believe me when I say, that I did not do that out of spite or malice. And I never foresaw where that knowledge would lead you.
Of course I know the truth. You never loved Gabrielle. But she was there, and you needed someone; someone to make the pain go away. I can understand that; believe me. I know what the loss feels like; know it well. Tell me Charles, is that why you have kept your son at a distance? Is it out of guilt for the circumstances of his conception? Are you afraid that he will sense the truth in you? Or is it simply out of fear; fear that it will dredge up too many memories, too much pain?
I can understand that too. Every moment that I spend with Eithne is that way for me. She looks so much like her mother. At times it is as if I can see Rhiannon staring at me from those golden eyes. Her presence stabs at my heart; tears at my soul. But I love her; she is mine. Sadly, it seems that of all my children, she alone cares for me. I can not blame them I suppose. I have not been the greatest of fathers. Yet one more thing that we share, Charles. But you, you have no such excuse. For David has longed to be near you; a fact that everyone but you seems to understand. Why is it then that you choose to keep your only son at a distance; while you pull strangers to your heat? Why is it that your X-Men know you intimately; and your child barely knows you at all?
But, that is not why you have come here. And I will not lecture you on fatherhood; me of all people. What? Oh yes, Rhiannon. She had returned to Shalidar, pregnant and alone. Oberon and Titania had waited expectantly for the children to come. It would seem that children are quite rare, as far as fairies go. They had arrived in January; not long after the winter solstice. One boy and one girl. It was on that very day, only hours after their birth; that she died. She was murdered, as you may well know. Killed by Oberon's closest and most trusted friend. He had loved her in secret for a lifetime; and had hated her for what she had become. It had been Titania who had found them; when she had gone to check on the children. She had found him there in her room, covered in her blood; her wings held in his hands like a macabre trophy.
Yes, it is very painful for me. I would prefer not to go into further detail Charles; prefer not to summon up those images. She was murdered; her beautiful gossamer wings cut from her lifeless body. Yes, she had wings; although I never had the chance to see them. In Shalidar, in her room, there is a portrait of her; with flowing gossamer wings. Oberon did not show it to you? Perhaps that was best, all things considered. Her killer? He was punished in accordance with fairy law. He was put to death. Executed by the hand of Oberon. She had been his child; and he had delievered her killer into the hands of death himself. I can understand that desire.
And that is really all there is to tell. Perhaps it was not a good idea; your coming here. I can see that look in your eyes old friend. You must know that it is impossible now. Yes, it would be insanity; we both realize that. However, we were friends once, were we not? Why is it that we can not be so again? Let Eithne be the tie that binds us. I would like that, yes. I would like to try. We may be surprsied where the road may lead. Then again, perhaps we have known all along.
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